This Terrible Longing: Part Two
Tonight in her presence…Dr. Estes…after her teaching – we each got a blessing.
When it came to my turn – she said just a few sentences:
First she made a shape of recognition like she knew me. Though I am sure she did that for everyone.
Then she said these words to me.
You are welcome.
Open your eyes.
Then she pushed on my heart and I was born.
For the fourth time. Not without complication.
I had wanted to bow with my hands in prayer
if I got the chance to see her face to face –
but I forgot all about that
and became like a liquid caterpillar to look into the
eyes of El Cantadora y Curandera.
Before I went…I started this wretched writing
and then tonight I finished it. It seemed like I had
to get this out in order to move to the next place
to which I am headed. It’s long and grueling and
you might not be in the mood and the Lord only
knows if I should be sharing it out blog loud.
But those of you who dwell in dark places
come here and you say that my dark places
help you know you are note alone. you aren’t.
Dr. E said poetry, dance, paint, is one of the only ways
to we can say what happened while moving between
the worlds. She said El Destino, destiny as our teacher
is related to being taught by the Creator.
I send out my love to you. I know I came here for me,
but I could not stop thinking about you.
in between the lightning bugs. Sorry this isn’t more
encouraging, but then – we’ve all been here before…
and most of us, like me, didn’t want to tell anyone.
And then we wiggle out of the afterbirth and
spread our wings again. For anyone whose heart
has ever been broken in many places.
This is part two of my journey.
Signed in red.
this terrible longing which has no end
has me sniffing the trails of wolves
and following them where I ought not to go.
I am a jar broken that carried
all the lightning bugs of love in the world.
crash! out they came one night
with bright horrible beauty.
then they flew off to light on the lure of some
other new lovers. and I heard the voice of
La Llorona calling me down down down
to the place where pomegranates
are eaten in the dark while whispering
the Fugue in between red drops consumed.
if you do not wish to visit there with me tonight
then go on home and make yourself some tea.
make some for me too. pull the covers up to your chin.
but don’t blame me
if you keep reading and wish you didn’t.
after this terrible longing which has no end
nothing will ever be the same, I am sure of that.
my joy was swallowed by those lightning
bugs and carried off to greener meadows
for careless consumption by young lovers
lounging on Mexican blankets in the afternoon sun
eating mangos of timelessness.
I wish those young lovers well
and hope they never read this.
and even more, never have to write it.
I used to be them. Now I bite my lips
dry without the kisses I had learned to live on like food.
I am not ashamed to call myself a fool for love.
there are worse things to be in this life.
I am proof that true love can exist where danger lives.
I am proof that love between humans
does not conquer all, after all.
I have proof that gratitude and judgement
live together and do not cancel eachother out.
wait…did they cancel eachother after all?
or was it something else all together?
was it something else that interfered
in the woven togetherness of vows forged?
the vessel of my union was sealed –
sealed with love, protection, and passion.
and yet fear
encased my heart and I was tangled in the chain of love.
I chose those links myself and let them dig into
my flesh. I wore them like dark jewelry
because of love. true. terrible and oh quite real.
the lightning bugs lit everything up anyway
and made me bracelets of light to see by
and protect myself like wonder woman.
how did anything get past our garden gates?
where was that opening? I think I know but
I don’t want to say it out loud. suffice to say
white man’s magic is not the always the way to heal
a broken limb because it opens doors that are
meant to stay shut.
I lived with the muck of the devil’s tracks
on my kitchen floor.
I would wipe them up
each morning and look out my kitchen window
hopefull anyway. I had happy in my every single day
anyway. when I speak of it, women find this hard to believe.
men look in wonder but seem to understand more
of how hardness and softness co-exist.
I called him tricky then, the devil that is.
now I don’t call him anything because he
doesn’t live at my house anymore.
he lost his name on my doorstep.
he left with my beloved, ever nipping at the heels
of love’s music. my love was one who
was often in the undertow of too strong
of water for such a tender a one as that.
the song would rise often above the wave
but the water line just kept rising. rising.
until my little boat floated out on it
almost silently in the moonlight.
most of all I was struck that I was
free to go. but I didn’t really want to.
but I didn’t really have a choice.
as for me, I used to be a renewable resource
now the mine is tapped and we are dry
in this desert that once was home to growing things.
does this all sound terrible to you?
because it is. quite.
I made that kind of love my home. precarious as it was.
now I am homeless like so many other hearts.
love like that is your family and you make art
out of what it gives you when you think
you cannot go on. art lights the colder nights.
the wildness in me used to be contained
bordered. hedged in with thorns and red rose blooms
intoxicating with sunlight and glory on Sunday mornings.
but now my wildness seeps out around the edges
an unkept unplucked wild hair that peaks through
every garment, including black lace and red veils.
revealing this wildness in me. this wolfness
surprises me when I stop long enough
to listen intently. nothing is following my tracks
so why do I look behind me as if something
is still coming to get me?
don’t wolves mate for life? that was what I vowed to.
I cry into the stones of mountains we once climbed
and made love upon while our legs were dotted
with sand and lichen impressions.
I do not welcome the wildness because I don’t know
what it will do in me. I spent so many of my days
tending the wild garden my love created that my own
wildness had gone to seed. but then the rains came.
and in summer too. I thought I had longer before the next
rain and sprouting.
the reckless seeds in me long for
things like motorcylces and whisky.
thinks like sacred heart tattoos and up all night
writing and painting binges. and yes salty chocolate
and salty brows. why do I feel 18 again?
the wildness longs for kisses it cannot have and for
skin that is not for the touching anymore.
oh yes, it feels better than the mediocrity which threatens
my sleep with it’s milky eyes. it feels like aliveness at least.
like eyes that can see in the dark.
my breath, no longer long and deep
is shallow and brightly translucent
and is a broken railing of barbed wire and
tiny splinters not big enough to see
but small enough to keep the wound awake.
the howling wound beckons me inside.
inside inside. why won’t the wound seal over?
weary with doubt
and having lost all fear that used to be
my guard – I sit
guardless at the gate of hope and hell
and wonder why either one matters.
The canyon that exists where my heart used to live
is called ‘the red horizon that goes on forever’
a desert highway wavering
from too much heat where lizards die of thirst.
a long red line slicing my innocence in half.
this is where dreams of true love were
shattered. slaughtered. dismembered
by strange hands I do not recognize as
mine, my lovers or Gods.
foreign hands, as if not from around here.
who will sew my fragments back together again?
I don’t know how to sing over these bones Madre!
La Loba – La Loba, maybe she will come to me tonight!
you think I am dramatic. oh yes I am.
I dream while awake and that is what makes
poets write or else. Poems give the poets
somewhere to put all of this misery and artists
something to paint right again.
I know how this fairy tale ends. don’t you?
there will be no one to mend these bonds
broken in the freshly gardened plot. no one.
there will be no one to eat the twelve sqaush
we planted that day. the harvest at that yellow house
happened one month after we were gone.
I drove by and saw the rows of corn. the
blooming morning glories. the squash blossoms.
the strawberries making someone else’s mouth sweet.
there will be no child
to mark the love made that day. there will
be no more days like that. ever.
there is not getting it back. no going back.
no turning back. who will I be now that I am
not longer me and you in one?
so…now that the heart has been cracked open
never to be mended, fully,
what have I to fear?
death? I do not fear death.
Suffering? Yes, for loved ones, I fear suffering.
It is a relief sometimes to admit
it is a fine day to die.
my bed is made. my nails are filed. my bills are paid.
and I have no where to be but right here.
yes if God called me home I would not fight.
you think this kind of pain is less than other kinds?
everything horrible and good if made of this thing
called the heart. breaking it one way or another
makes no difference if it is just broken, okay?
thankfully I have others to tend
and I get up for them. selfishly rising to my call
because that is all I answer to now.
no one calls me from the other room anymore.
My calling has saved me from certain ruin,
I do not answer my call on my own accord.
it is Spirit through me. that is why though my heart
is a jumble of thorns with a few lightning bugs, dead,
I have not fallen down on my job or entirely
lost my faith. I answer the call of the day not because
I won’t take the time to feel and heal. not because
I am trying to be good. but because working for
life’s beauty is what I do. what I have always done.
I put on my rhinestone cosmic cowgirl boots
my Virgin Guadalupe belt and leather and golden bangles
and ramble down the
well dying is too hard today.
so I might as well live. ok girl.
pick up your
brush and pen! survival tools
have been provided for this journey.
I have never thought of killing myself,
so don’t worry about that.
losing one’s way is a kind of death
and I am dying it and I know I am not alone.
I cry for all of us who mourn love lost
on the mean rocks and the drunken cliffs.
one must journey into the dark red night
to find the light and bring it back again.
my love hasn’t changed a day in a year,
it lives like a dead Saint’s undecomposing body
after all it was sixteen years worth of prayer.
sweet loving Jesus help me make it through the night.
my love only goes unexpressed unless I
let the muse relieve me with her
lovely morphine of creativity.
I don’t belong to anything anymore.
If I did it would be red paint,
the color of blood.
I could belong to red.